In this manuscript letter Robert Dale informs Owen of his recent defeat in the [Indiana] state elections for Congress. Overconfidence, "religious excitement" - particularly from Methodists, a sense of discontent felt in some parts concerning the fact that both Robert Dale's brothers and brother-in-law are in the pay of the Government and "the cry for rotation in office" are all put forward as reasons for the defeat. The victor, Judge Embree, is derided as being "equally without talent and without principles".
Robert Dale will still retain his office at the Smithsonian [Institute], and will visit Washington soon as requested by the architect. Robert Dale explains that he can occupy himself "almost as usefully" at the Institute as he could in Congress.
Discussion regarding the activities of Robert Dale's brothers follows; David Dale continues with his survey, whilst army Captain Richard is currently stationed at Camargo in charge of a provisions depot.
News from New Harmony follows, with Robert Dale writing that sickness has kept away from New Harmony and Jane intends to move from there next Spring with David Dale's wife Caroline moving into Jane's house. Richard's wife Anne meanwhile will move "into town".